Victoria’s road back from restrictions: Your questions answered

Up to five fully vaccinated people at a time can play. If you have only received your first dose or are not vaccinated, a maximum of two people may gather for contactless activities at an outdoor facility.

Indoor facilities must remain closed, excluding toilets, where check in is required with the Service Victoria app. People doing archery together should keep at least 1.5 metres apart.

Face masks are required while doing archery. Where possible people should minimise the sharing of equipment.

Can I go trick-or-treating this year?

Victoria reached its 70 per cent COVID-19 double-dose vaccination target on October 21, triggering the end of the curfew and an increased limit of people at outdoor gatherings. So, trick-or-treating will be allowed. But with a few rules still in place.

Restrictions mean people will likely be forbidden from entering other people’s properties, so kids won’t be allowed to walk into someone’s front yard or knock on someone’s door, no matter how good their costumes are.

Halloween is a light on the way out of the COVID-19 tunnel, but there will be limits on celebrations. Credit:Getty

Instead, they will have to collect their lollies on the footpath out the front. Masks (not just spooky ones) and social distancing will still be required.

It’s worth noting the rules are according to Victoria’s road map, which includes indicative restrictions and dates that could change based on public health advice.

When can we travel to regional Victoria? I have a rural bush property that will need bushfire preparation. – Naomi

Regional property owners in Melbourne or any other locked down area of the state can apply for a permit that allows them to enter other parts of the state to prepare a second property for fire season under a new scheme announced in early October.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and CFA crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gipplsland in 2020.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and CFA crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gipplsland in 2020.Credit:Darrian Traynor

The permits come into effect from October 11 and will be issued by the local council where an individual’s secondary property is located.

Applicants will need to provide information about where the property is, the type of work that needs to done and the planned date of travel.

The current Melbourne restrictions with continue to apply to anyone travelling to a property in a non-locked down area of the state. Full details of the scheme can be found here.

When can I go to the dentist for a check-up? – Tim

Routine appointments are now available in both Melbourne and regional areas. However, dental clinics are required to have a COVID-safe plan in place and need to maintain a density limit of one person per four square metres.

Melburnians could be allowed back at the dentist for a regular check-up by the end of October.

Melburnians could be allowed back at the dentist for a regular check-up by the end of October.Credit:iStock

Do I need to wear a face mask when bushwalking with no one around me?

Face masks remain mandatory for outdoor activities in most circumstances, unless you are exerting yourself, for instance running or cycling.

My husband lives in regional Victoria and I live in Melbourne, and we’re both fully vaccinated. Are we able to see one another? – Seng

Yes. The government restrictions allow for intimate partners to visit each other even if they live more than 15 kilometres apart, provided they do not exceed the five-person-per-household limit.

I am a member of a golf club but live just outside the 15km area can I still travel there to play – David

Yes. The travel limit was lifted on October 22, so as long as the course is still within Melbourne you can now travel more than 15 kilometres to play.

When will I be able to go to the hairdresser, and can a hairdresser cut my hair in a park?

Under current restrictions, hairdressers in regional Victoria are open with a density limit of one person per four square metres. Face masks can also be removed for a short time if required.

Hairdressing and other personal beauty services are now permitted in Melbourne, with a limit of five fully vaccinated patrons allowed in the store.

When will indoor gyms reopen?

Physical recreation will resume indoors in Melbourne once the 80 per cent double-vaccination target is reached (now expected by the end of October). This will be subject to a density limit of one person per four square metres, with an indoor cap of 150 people.

Indoor gyms – along with play centres and indoor skate parks – are already open with a 30-person limit in regional Victoria as long as those taking part are fully vaccinated.

Once Victoria hits that vaccination target, there will be no restrictions on reasons to leave home and people will be able to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria for any reason.

Living in regional Victoria, are we able to meet our adult children in an outdoor space in Melbourne any time soon or do we have to wait until 80 per cent full vaccination?

At this stage it looks like you will have to wait until the state hits it 80 per cent fully vaccinated target which could be as soon as the end of October.

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When can we try on clothes in real-life shops?

Retail will reopen for in-store service in Melbourne once 80 per cent of the eligible population is double-vaxxed. Each shop will have to follow density guidelines of one person per four square metres.

Retail outlets in regional Victoria have already reopened, but density limits apply. Masks remain mandatory at all times.

When will dog grooming be open?

In Melbourne, veterinary clinics, pet stores and mobile pet-grooming services are considered authorised workplaces, meaning they can open under current COVID-19 restrictions.

This means that if your regular groomer is offering contactless drop-off and pick-up of your pet, and the service takes place outside, Fido might be able to get his fur in order right now.

Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson announced the change in early September.

“Grooming will be permitted for non-urgent and regular grooming needs, as long as it’s conducted outdoors and is contactless, and conducted solo,” she said.

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We’re buying a vehicle chosen online from a dealer 34 kilometres from our Melbourne home, subject to a road test. Will we be able to do this before November 5?

Yes. If the dealership is still within Melbourne, you’ll be able to go and pick up the car from October 22.

When can I resume playing golf?

Golf is already permitted in regional Victoria, although the number of people in each group cannot be more than 10 and face masks are required.

Golf clubs in Melbourne reopened on September 29.

Golfers at Albert Park Golf club as restrictions lifted last month.

Golfers at Albert Park Golf club as restrictions lifted last month.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Players must also wear masks.

Can I use the indoor bathrooms at the golf club while I’m playing the course?

Yes.

After conflicting advice from health authorities, the latest update from Golf Australia is that clubs can open their toilets to players so long as QR codes are scanned before entry and the facilities are cleaned at least twice a day.

What does DQ2 and DQ4 mean in the road map?

These abbreviations initially had us scratching our heads too. They relate to the density quotient for certain shops and facilities. DQ4 means that there can only be a maximum of one person per four square metres, while DQ2 means a maximum of one person for every two square metres.

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